Bullpen, defense doom Detroit Tigers on Mother’s Day; lose to Minnesota 4-3


Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have struggled with a bad bullpen and shaky defense at times, but it has rarely cost the team a win this season. On Mother’s Day, it certainly did.

While Joba Chamberlain and Rajai Davis will take the lion’s share of the blame for the 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, which cost the Tigers their first home series defeat of the season, the offense could not take advantage of multiple opportunities off starter Samuel Deduno.

The loss wasted a great effort by rookie Robbie Ray, who had another exceptional outing. He ran into trouble in the sixth inning with the Tigers holding on to a 3-0 lead, but was baled out by a double play. Perhaps worried that Ray was beginning to get tired, manager Brad Ausmus turned to the bullpen to preserve the lead. Ian Krol allowed a run in the seventh and Chamberlain,who had been very good since a bad start, allowed three runs in the eighth. The tying run scored when Rajai Davis let a ball go past him.

The Tigers scored their three runs on a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly, an Austin Jackson RBI single, and a Ian Kinsler solo homer. The Tigers left five on base, including the bases loaded in the fourth, and had some hard luck as an incredibly hard hit ball hit off Casey Fein but was recovered in enough time for an out in the eighth. Detroit stranded the tying run at third and would go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

The Tigers head out on a very long stretch of road-heavy games (five of the next six series are on the road) beginning tomorrow night with the start of a three-game series with the red-hot AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles.